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What Are the Different Alternative Treatments for Sleep Apnea?

Exploring alternative treatments for sleep apnea can be a game-changer for those seeking restful nights without conventional CPAP machines. Options range from positional therapy and weight management to oral appliances and yoga. Each offers unique benefits, addressing the root causes of sleep disruptions. Ready to transform your sleep health? Discover which alternative might unlock the secret to your peaceful slumber. What will you try first?
Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.

Alternative treatments for sleep apnea include acupuncture, alternative medicine herbs, and exercise. Conventional treatments for sleep apnea include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, surgery, and use of supplemental oxygen. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes pauses in breathing patterns during sleep. Factors that can worsen sleep apnea include obesity, sinus problems, alcohol consumption, and sleeping on the back. Enlarged tonsils and taking medications such as antihistamines and certain prescription medications can also contribute or worsen sleep apnea.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, untreated sleep apnea may contribute to cardiac arrhythmias and obesity. Although alternative treatments for sleep apnea may prove beneficial, a doctor should be consulted before alternative treatment begins or is augmented with conventional treatment. A dentist also may recommend oral appliances that can help reposition the jaw to reduce the effects of sleep apnea.

Alternative treatments may help to reduce or eliminate snoring.
Alternative treatments may help to reduce or eliminate snoring.

Wedge pillows for sleep apnea can offer non-medicinal, non-surgical relief by keeping your head and esophagus elevated through the night. Sleeping at an upright angle prevents the airways from narrowing as they relax, reducing cases of apnea symptoms. 

You may have to test several different products before you find the proper angle that allows you to rest comfortably while still being an effective treatment against the disorder. Alternatively, purchase an adjustable wedge to fine-tune the experience to your exacting parameters.

Conventional treatment of sleep apnea could include a sleeping mask that provides continuous positive airway pressure.
Conventional treatment of sleep apnea could include a sleeping mask that provides continuous positive airway pressure.

Other alternative treatments for sleep apnea include valerian root. Valerian is said to contain anti-anxiety and sedative properties that may improve sleep quality and sleep apnea. Valerian can be taken in supplement form or consumed as a tea. Supplements can be purchased at most nutrition stores, drug stores, and grocery stores. Before taking valerian preparations, a doctor should be consulted to determine if valerian is deemed safe for the situation.

Some people use ginger teas to help them sleep better.
Some people use ginger teas to help them sleep better.

Drinking cinnamon and ginger teas are also alternative treatments for sleep apnea. These can also help improve the quality of sleep for people suffering from sleep apnea and snoring. People who have obstruction sleep apnea often wake up multiple times during the night, so drinking these teas can help them stay asleep longer. Although drinking ginger and cinnamon teas is generally safe, patients with pre-existing conditions and patients taking other medications should consult a physician before trying alternative treatments for sleep apnea.

Valerian root is a popular herbal treatment for sleep apnea.
Valerian root is a popular herbal treatment for sleep apnea.

Excess weight can worsen sleep apnea and if the weight is located in the neck area it can cause an obstruction of the breathing tube, worsening sleep apnea. Losing even minimal amounts of weight can significantly improve sleep apnea and improve overall health. People who have sleep apnea often report daytime sleepiness, headaches, and fatigue. In addition, people who have sleep apnea may be at an increased risk for car accidents. This is because daytime sleepiness can affect reaction time and can even cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.

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Discussion Comments

Animandel

@Laotionne - I read a study that said three out of four people who snore have some form of sleep apnea. So the answer to your question is that not every person who snores has sleep apnea. However, if you snore there is a good chance that you do have sleep apnea, so getting checked out by a doctor or sleep specialist is a good idea.

mobilian33

As this article says early on, if you have sleep apnea you should get it treated sooner rather than later because this condition can cause serious health problems. A cousin of mine had sleep apnea that developed after she was in a car accident. I think the condition was triggered by scar tissue, but I'm not certain.

She had a machine that she was hooked up to at night. The machine helped her to breath better and rest better. Unfortunately, she was also a smoker and this didn't help the condition. She was in her early 40s when she died. She went to bed one night and she never woke up the next moring.

Feryll

@Laotionne - One of my college roommates was a very loud snorer. He warned us ahead of time that he was going to snore. We had no idea just how loud he was going to get. It took a few weeks, but like most things, we eventually got accustomed to the noises he made in his sleep. Once we learned to tune it out we didn't have any trouble sleeping.

His problem was that he had a deviated septum. This is what was causing the issue. The way he explained his condition to us, he didn't actually stop breathing when he was snoring, but his air passage was smaller so that's what caused the noise. There wasn't enough space for all of the air that was moving in and out of his nasal passages.

Laotionne

Someone told me that anyone who snores has some type of sleep apnea condition. Does anyone know whether this is actually true?

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    • Alternative treatments may help to reduce or eliminate snoring.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      Alternative treatments may help to reduce or eliminate snoring.
    • Conventional treatment of sleep apnea could include a sleeping mask that provides continuous positive airway pressure.
      By: BVDC
      Conventional treatment of sleep apnea could include a sleeping mask that provides continuous positive airway pressure.
    • Some people use ginger teas to help them sleep better.
      By: praisaeng
      Some people use ginger teas to help them sleep better.
    • Valerian root is a popular herbal treatment for sleep apnea.
      By: marilyn barbone
      Valerian root is a popular herbal treatment for sleep apnea.
    • Patients should first consult with a licensed physician before pursuing alternative treatments for sleep apnea.
      By: Shakzu
      Patients should first consult with a licensed physician before pursuing alternative treatments for sleep apnea.
    • Sinus problems can worsen sleep apnea.
      By: Innovated Captures
      Sinus problems can worsen sleep apnea.